[ em-bar-uhs-muhnt ]
/ ɛmˈbær əs mənt /


the state of being embarrassed; disconcertment; abashment.
an act or instance of embarrassing.
something that embarrasses.
an overwhelmingly excessive amount; overabundance: an embarrassment of riches.
the state of being in financial difficulties.
Medicine/Medical. impairment of functioning associated with disease: respiratory embarrassment.

Origin of embarrassment

From the French word embarrassement, dating back to 1670–80. See embarrass, -ment
Related formspre·em·bar·rass·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for embarrassment

British Dictionary definitions for embarrassment


/ (ɪmˈbærəsmənt) /


the state of being embarrassed
something that embarrasses
a financial predicament
an excessive amount; superfluity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for embarrassment



1670s, "state of being impeded, obstructed, entangled" (of affairs, etc.), from embarrass + -ment, or from French embarrassement, from embarrasser.

As "a mental state of unease," from 1774. Meaning "thing which embarrasses" is from 1729. Earlier words expressing much the same idea include baishment "embarrassment, confusion" (late 14c.); baishednesse (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper